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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is the place to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.
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12.5 YEAR OLD CHOCO LAB, Front Left Leg Amputated June 11TH , 102 POUNDS, Not really able to walk yet
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21 June 2020 - 4:28 pm
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Ok, we got her outside to pee!!!! No number two she wanted to go right back inside but we wouldn’t let her for about 45 minutes just to see. Nothing. We also carried her out but she hopped back in. She’s definitely timid on her right back leg? Could it be pain meds? Does cancer spread this quickly? Ugh!!! I don’t want her to be in pain!! But I don’t want to overreact… We did get staples so maybe that’s a factor too? Still nothing from the vet…

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21 June 2020 - 4:30 pm
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Great tip Nancy! Yeah I wonder if there’s something like that bothering her. The fact that she’s eating and drinking is a good sign that this isn’t anything major. Don’t let her go too long without urinating though. I hope she get to see the vet soon so they can check her out.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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21 June 2020 - 4:33 pm
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OH wow that is GREAT news! WHEW! One thing down, now about the painful leg…

Don’t panic. I know easier said than done but she’s still so new in recovery, that this kind of thing isn’t unusual. When you and your vet talk be sure to tell them everything that’s going on and see what they can do over the phone as far as medication adjustment, to see if that helps. Also don’t forget that gentle massage can help her feel better and also may give you an idea of where the pain is coming from. Hang in there!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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22 June 2020 - 6:25 am
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Good Morning! We had a bit of a rough night… lots of whimpering/ whining. I’ve been massaging her back legs and she lets me… it doesn’t seem like any spot in particular is hurting. She stood & walked a little this morning for a bit and I could tell the back legs were shaky. When she laid back down the whimpering started. Maybe it’s her arthritis? Or the pain meds… It’s times like this I wish dogs could communicate with us!

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22 June 2020 - 10:34 am
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Hey good morning to you too!

Gosh I’m sorry, poor girl. It’s good that she’s not showing classic pain signals . When you massage does she stop whining?

I’m wracking my brain and one thing I just thought of: we’ve had a few older Tripawds here who started experiencing mild cases of doggie dementia around the time of their amputation. It’s a pretty typical condition in senior dogs and I doubt the amputation exacerbates it but I wonder if the medications might be. Have you ever tried an anti-anxiety calming device on her, like pheromones or a Thundershirt

Did you get in touch with the vet?

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22 June 2020 - 4:00 pm
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I have never heard of most those these things! I’m reading up on them now. Wow!! She stops whining when we give her attention (like massages). I’m doing to look up doggie dementia.. that sounds scary! 

The vet called. Unfortunately, they weren’t much help. The woman who took the call said the surgeon was off today and I read all the symptoms and even asked to send a pic of her stitches because there’s one spot where it’s really crusted and looks like she might have pooped a stitch? Anyway, they said to send along the picture and they would call back. No call back, just an email saying we could bring her in tomorrow to change the bandage or wait until our appointment Wednesday. She didn’t even have a bandage on! I also left a message with her regular vet today. Still nothing from them. 

She went out around 11 this morning and did all her businesses. She walked on her own and she seemed ok??? I’m hoping it’s just the meds!!! 

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22 June 2020 - 4:27 pm
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That’s OK, you are doing all the right things to advocate for her.

Don’t panic about the doggie dementia, it’s not as bad as it sounds. It happens to a lot of dogs and usually the symptoms are pretty mild and easily managed.

If she is still anxious tonight I would definitely take her in a day early. That’s too bad they weren’t paying attention to the fact that she’s not wearing a bandage but Mondays are pretty crazy at vet clinics so I can see why they missed that. But if they continue to you blow you off, you may want to consider finding a different practice, preferably one that’s AAHA-accredited.

I’m so glad she did her business and walked around! 

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22 June 2020 - 4:43 pm
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YAY FOR LADY!!!   SHE WALKED ON HER  OWN???   SHE DID ALL HER BIDNESS???? 😎

Be sure and celebrate those victories!!!   As we say around here during recovery,  any little improvement is a HUGE VICTORY!!👏..

 Bummer about being blown off at the Vet.  That popped stitch could definitely  be causing  her some discomfort.   Any discharge, smell, etc.  Skin around it look okay?

Sweet that she settles once she gets some attention  and massages 🤗    Between the meds, recovering  from MAJOR surgery, adjusting  to three, as well as feeling a bit uncertain  and vulnerable,  she’s doing pretty darn good!  So hard to be patient and let Lady recover in a way that works for her.  But she’s getting there!

Will this be your regular Vet you could see tomorrow?

Update when upi can, okay?

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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23 June 2020 - 5:45 am
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Hi All,

Currently sitting outside with my girl! She woke up this morning and took the initiative to go outside to go the bathroom. She was pretty fast too! This is the first time she’s wanted to go outside in days! Now she’s sleeping the in the shade 🙂

Last night was a bit whiny, but she got up and walked around a few times. One time I woke up and she was standing next to me staring. I was a little taken by surprise, hahaha. I’m wondering if the whining is her legs being stiff. I know before the surgery if she skipped a walk or two her back legs wouldn’t be as up to the task, so I am hoping that is what it is. I’m hopeful with her energy this morning that’s a good sign and hopefully no more whining or we’ll be going a day early.

The appointment Wednesday is with the vet from surgery. I still haven’t gotten a call from the regular vet. That office must be on a modified schedule with Covid. They also sent us all her documents from surgery… about the Osteosarcoma & the lymph nodes metastasis.

As for the (maybe) popped stitch, it’s a pretty big crusted over part. Looks like a big scab that’s about to fall off. That’s why we wanted to send a pic to the vet to make sure it was normal. No smell or anything. Maybe a little puss under the scab yesterday but not really.

Here’s to a (hopefully) better day for Lady!!! She deserves it!!!

Virginia




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23 June 2020 - 9:09 am
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Ph good!  So glad to jear whe has a bit of her spunk back!  Really  good sign!  Slowly. It surely you’ll see her get better and better!

Once she recovers from the surgery,  try and get an appointment with a Certified Rehabilitation Specialist.  The Tripawds Foundation will pay for the first appointment.  You’ll get some good insight on how to strengthen those back legs. 

Glad you’ll have a check up with your regular Vet tomorrow.  Uodate is when yoi get a chance. 

YAY for feeling good enoifht to enjoy some time out on Nature.  That is always “healing”.

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

The Rainbow Bridge



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23 June 2020 - 10:49 am
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Wow that is wonderful news! Yipee! Maybe she heard you talking about taking her to the vet today? Hmmm smiley2

I know when I sit for too long I get achy, and the same thing happens to Wyatt Ray , he gets very stiff after laying around all afternoon. We always have to make sure he gets up and walks around and it’s good for us too. So yeah, her behavior could be related more to the arthritis rather than the amputation itself, or most likely a little of both. Either way, be sure to talk to the surgeon about how you can maintain a pain-free amount of activity while she heals, and discuss the possibility of keeping her on anti-inflammatories long term if she is able to tolerate them. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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23 June 2020 - 2:31 pm
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Glad to hear Lady got some pep in her step. And happy you have a vet appointment. When Brownie wasn’t feeling well, belly rubs always did the trick.

Let us know how it goes. I’m curious to know what is bothering her. 

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

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24 June 2020 - 8:39 pm
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Hi All! Just wanted to update.. Lady went to the vet today. She was a bit of a show off when we got there, LOL! Walking around in the grass area. It was the most active she’s been in a while. The vet came outside so she didn’t have to go in which was awesome. He did notice some puss when he tried to take out a staple so he said to leave the staples in another week and we got a new anti-biotic prescription. Other than that he said the incision was looking really good and she seemed like she was doing well. She was a really good pup the whole time, and this evening she even came out and tried to beg at the table when we had some dinner!!! She hadn’t done that in almost a week. I gave her apples again. She must be soooo happy with her fruits and veggies, NOT! Anyway, no news is sometimes good news? I’m feeling hopeful. We’ll go back to get the staples out next week and then July 2nd we’ll meet with oncology. 

Virginia




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24 June 2020 - 9:29 pm
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A lot to celebrate in that update!!!

YAY for being a show off for the Vet!  And Lady took her rightful place begging at the table, YAY!  I’m  sure Lady isn’t  believing for one second that her hoomans are eating apples for dinner every night!  You’re  a good girl Lady!

Sounds like your Vet is in top of things.  Sometimes stitches have to stay in a vit longer for one reason or other.

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

The Rainbow Bridge



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25 June 2020 - 10:10 am
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Woooohooo! She’s come a long way since you first joined us, and so have you. Maybe it’s the Apple a Day keeps more vets away? icon_lol I’m so happy she got a good report.

I just gave our Wyatt Ray raw zucchini slices as his workout bait this morning. He didn’t care, it was food and as a food crazy dog, it’s all he cared about, the eating part. A long time ago he might have turned his nose up at zukes but he’s used to it now. Lady will get to be the same way soon, just wait! 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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